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Career and Education Opportunities for Legal Assistants in Kansas City, Missouri

Legal assistants can find many career and educational opportunities in the Kansas City, Missouri area. There are currently 4,810 jobs for legal assistants in Missouri and this is projected to grow by 20% to 5,750 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for legal assistants are expected to grow by about 28.1%. In general, legal assistants assist lawyers by researching legal precedent, investigating facts, or preparing legal documents.

Legal assistants earn about $19 hourly or $41,360 yearly on average in Missouri and about $22 per hour or $46,120 yearly on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Administration and Support, people working as legal assistants in Missouri earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Administration and Support nationally. Legal assistants work in a variety of jobs, including: corporate paralegal, immigration paralegal, and legal researcher.

There are seventy-one schools of higher education in the Kansas City area, including ten within twenty-five miles of Kansas City where you can get a degree to start your career as a legal assistant. The most common level of education for legal assistants is a Bachelor's degree. You can expect to spend about four years training to become a legal assistant if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Legal Assistant

Legal Assistant video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, legal assistants assist lawyers by researching legal precedent, investigating facts, or preparing legal documents. They also conduct research to support a legal proceeding, to formulate a defense, or to initiate legal action.

Legal assistants ready affidavits or other documents, such as legal correspondence, and organize and maintain documents in paper or electronic filing system. They also ready legal documents and real estate closing statements. Finally, legal assistants meet with clients and other professionals to consider specifics of case.

Every day, legal assistants are expected to be able to read and understand documents and reports. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they see details at a very fine level of focus.

It is important for legal assistants to gather and analyze research data, such as statutes and legal articles, codes, and documents. They are often called upon to get ready for trial by performing tasks such as organizing exhibits. They also file pleadings with court clerk. They are sometimes expected to direct and schedule law office activity, including delivery of subpoenas. Somewhat less frequently, legal assistants are also expected to appraise and inventory real and personal property for estate planning.

They also have to be able to investigate facts and law of cases and search pertinent sources and call upon witnesses to testify at hearing. And finally, they sometimes have to ready affidavits or other documents, such as legal correspondence, and organize and maintain documents in paper or electronic filing system.

Like many other jobs, legal assistants must be thorough and dependable and believe in cooperation and coordination.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Kansas City include:

  • Court Reporter. Use verbatim methods and equipment to capture, store, and transcribe pretrial and trial proceedings or other information. Includes stenocaptioners who operate computerized stenographic captioning equipment to provide captions of live or prerecorded broadcasts for hearing-impaired viewers.
  • Lawyer. Represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, and manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.
  • Paralegal. Assist lawyers or judges by researching or preparing legal documents. May meet with clients or assist lawyers and judges in court.
  • Title Examiner. Search real estate records, examine titles, or summarize pertinent legal or insurance details for a variety of purposes. May compile lists of mortgages, contracts, and other instruments pertaining to titles by searching public and private records for law firms, real estate agencies, or title insurance companies.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Legal Assistant Training

Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley - Kansas City, MO

Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley, 3201 SW Trafficway, Kansas City, MO 64111-2429. Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley is a small college located in Kansas City, Missouri. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,340 students. Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated two and thirty-one students respectively in 2008.

Rockhurst University - Kansas City, MO

Rockhurst University, 1100 Rockhurst Rd, Kansas City, MO 64110-2561. Rockhurst University is a small university located in Kansas City, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,086 students and an admission rate of 76%. Rockhurst University has a less than one year program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated thirteen students in 2008.

National American University-Zona Rosa - Kansas City, MO

National American University-Zona Rosa, 7490 NW 87th Street, Kansas City, MO 64153. National American University-Zona Rosa is a small university located in Kansas City, Missouri. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 311 students. National American University-Zona Rosa has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal.

Johnson County Community College - Overland Park, KS

Johnson County Community College, 12345 College Blvd, Overland Park, KS 66210-1299. Johnson County Community College is a large college located in Overland Park, Kansas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 19,062 students. Johnson County Community College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated four, twenty-five, and nine students respectively in 2008.

Avila University - Kansas City, MO

Avila University, 11901 Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO 64145-1698. Avila University is a small university located in Kansas City, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,939 students and an admission rate of 50%. Avila University has a bachelor's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal.

Brown Mackie College-Kansas City - Lenexa, KS

Brown Mackie College-Kansas City, 9705 Lenexa Dr., Lenexa, KS 66215. Brown Mackie College-Kansas City is a small college located in Lenexa, Kansas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 462 students. Brown Mackie College-Kansas City has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated one and thirteen students respectively in 2008.

National American University-Independence - Independence, MO

National American University-Independence, 3620 Arrowhead Avenue, Independence, MO 64057. National American University-Independence is a small university located in Independence, Missouri. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 415 students. National American University-Independence has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated two and one students respectively in 2008.

Northeast Kansas Technical Center - Atchison, KS

Northeast Kansas Technical Center, 1501 W Riley St, Atchison, KS 66002. Northeast Kansas Technical Center is a small school located in Atchison, Kansas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 284 students. Northeast Kansas Technical Center has a two to four year program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated two students in 2008.

Kansas City Kansas Community College - Kansas City, KS

Kansas City Kansas Community College, 7250 State Ave, Kansas City, KS 66112. Kansas City Kansas Community College is a medium sized college located in Kansas City, Kansas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,800 students. Kansas City Kansas Community College has an associate's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated six students in 2008.

National American University-Overland Park - Overland Park, KS

National American University-Overland Park, 10310 Mastin, Overland Park, KS 66212-5451. National American University-Overland Park is a small university located in Overland Park, Kansas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 304 students. National American University-Overland Park has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Legal Assistant/Paralegal which graduated one and one students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Legal Assistant: The CLA examination is divided into five sections.

For more information, see the National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc. website.

Certified Legal Investigator: The National Association of Legal Investigators, Inc.

For more information, see the National Association of Legal Investigators website.

Certified Legal Video Specialist: The use of video in the legal environment is growing fast.

For more information, see the National Court Reporters Association website.

Certified Broadcast Captioner: Prove you're on the cutting edge.

For more information, see the National Court Reporters Association website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri photo by Dillard421

Kansas City is situated in Jackson County, Missouri. It has a population of over 451,572, which has grown by 2.3% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Kansas City, 78, is well below the national average.

The top three industries for women in Kansas City are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 22 minutes. More than 25.7% of Kansas City residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.7%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Kansas City is 11.3%, which is greater than Missouri's average of 8.9%.

The percentage of Kansas City residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 51.2%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Glenwood Church, Antioch Church and Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary are among the churches located in Kansas City. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Kansas City is home to the Ozanam Boys Home and the Watts Mill Center as well as Central Park and West Terrace Park. Shopping malls in the area include Antioch Shopping Center, Wornall Village Shopping Center and Winwood Shopping Center. Visitors to Kansas City can choose from Budget Host Inn, Days Inn and Embassy Suites Hotel Kansas City Internatinl Arprt for temporary stays in the area.